Hochul and Adam's New Plan to Fight Subway Crime Does not Address Underlying Issues, Critics Say
By Yehudit Garmaise
David Martin, a 32-year-old who was shoved onto the tracks at Wyckoff and Myrtle Avenues on Friday at 2:40 pm by a suspect who is still at large, thankfully survived, but his mother said he cannot get out of bed.
Martin, who was on his way to his job as a waiter in Manhattan, now suffers from a broken collarbone, painful bruises, a feeling of burning on his face, and post-traumatic stress so serious he feels suicidal.
After Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams announced their newest plan to flood the subway system with more cops earning overtime, Audrey Martin, the mother of the Friday’s horrific subway shoving from the platform, told the New York Post that NY politicians are continuing to fail to address the widespread untreated mental illness that causes perpetrators to harm innocent bystanders.
“More cops? He’s wrong,” insisted the distraught mother. “This is a mental health issue.
“[They] are not addressing the issue.”
More overtime for police officers is not the answer, said Martin, who said that the governor and the mayor’s latest announcement to provide more “cops, cameras, and care” is “grandstanding,” or a making a showy display to distract New Yorkers from what they most fear as they try to get around the city quickly and without harassment and violence.
While the mayor and governor’s plan includes new 25-bed units at two local psychiatric facilities for New Yorkers who are both mentally ill and homeless, many critics say 50 beds will not begin to accommodate the patients in NYC who need serious psychiatric care.
When Martin was asked how she would advise Mayor Adams, she said, “You know what I want him to do?
“I want him to start building mental health facilities.
“There are all mental cases in the subway, and it’s not being handled at all. They just ignore it.”
Over the weekend, Mayor Adams participated in more meetings, this time: a two-day crime summit at which Mayor Adams focused on creating a central information-sharing system in which defendants, their attorneys, and judges can have easy access to evidence that local prosecutors plan to use at trials.
The politicians who come out with plan after plan to address the constant stream of underground terror that includes shovings, stabbings, and shootings on the rails do not seem to hear and see the many people ranting and raving with insanity underground.
“Mayor Adams was a cop,” Martin said. “He should know better.
“We have a city under crisis. We have a mental health crisis.”
Although city agencies report they have removed 1,500 homeless encampments this year, little more than 100 of those people have agreed to get help.
Likely to bolster the city’s efforts to relocate homeless people on the subways to mental illness facilities, Hochul and Adam’s new plan also calls for cops and other first responders to receive training on how to best transport mentally disturbed people from subways and to get them to psychiatric care.
While Hochul said on Saturday that she is “always asking what we can do to make our subways safer,” US Rep Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate who has pulled up ahead to poll very closely with the governor has said that Hochul’s plan is “a day late and a dollar short.”
Zeldin said that Hochul refuses to revisit the bail reform that many New Yorkers feel unleashed terror on them by allowing criminals to quickly return to the streets to perpetrate more crimes.
“I’ve stood at crime scenes outside subway stations countless times, demanding action to keep New Yorkers safe, demanding the governor to call a special session to overhaul cashless bail and other pro-criminal laws,” said Zeldin, who added that he has called on Hochul, “to remove DAs who refuse to enforce the law and back the blue.”
Progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has been notoriously reluctant to prosecute criminals, is one DA whom Zeldin has promised to remove from office as soon as he is elected.
Zeldin said that neither the nine people who died in the subways this year, nor “New Yorkers feeling unsafe,” was what inspired Hochul's latest actions to fight subway crime. What motivated Hochul, Zeldin alleged, was the realization that she no longer was enjoying her large lead over him, polls have been showing.
While recent polls have shown New Yorkers nearly evenly split between their support for Hochul and Zeldin, a new Siena reported that the incumbent remains in the lead with 52% of voters’ support, compared to Zeldin’s 37%. According to Siena, 12% of NY voters remain undecided.
After Zeldin issued his statement on Twitter, some social media users agreed with him and some disagreed, but many echoed what one New Yorker said plaintively: “If [Hochul] has real ideas, she would have implemented them months ago.”